This essay appears in the issue “Healing Social and Ecological Rifts Part 1″ (Volume 8, Number 1). Click here to subscribe and download the entire issue.
From the realm of boundless emptiness,
The spacious horizon of sky, sun and moon,
We call upon primordial perfection,
The unborn womb of suchness called Buddha,
Please grant us the unconditional openness
To rest in timeless wisdom with all life, decay, and death,
To see the patient perfection without beginning or end.
From the realm of compassionate sadness,
The vulnerable living skin of leaf, shell, and feather,
We call upon immeasurable compassion,
The inconceivable, endless vow of all Bodhisattvas,
Please grant us the brave heart of awakening,
To grieve for all that we are losing,
To lovingly protect all that calls to be protected.
From the realm of interdependent relationship,
The elements, greenery, crawling, swimming, soaring ones,
We call upon the interwoven web of causality,
The selfless insight called Dharma,
Please grant us the humility beyond human-centricity,
To mindfully stay with the suffering of this very place,
To take one small step towards restoring this very biome.
From the realm of precious human birth,
The farms, villages, cities, and systems of our society,
We call upon the community of all life,
The skillful means known as Sangha,
Please grant us the path of compassionate responsivity,
To fearlessly gather together without limit,
To act in skillful insurgencies, with reverence for all sentient beings.
From the realm coalescing the serene and the lively,
The luminous display of teaching that is our only planet earth,
We call upon this very time and place,
The Vajra continuum of Buddha Nature,
Please grant us this impossible challenge,
To rediscover the awakened nature of all,
To flourish in a beautiful liberated world, the inseparable life of all.
Composed spontaneously near a red cardinal in western Pennsylvania on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, amidst a global pandemic, rising temperatures, melting ice, and mass extinction, April 2020.
Adam Lobel (Ph.D) served as a teacher (acharya) in the Shambhala tradition from 2005-2018. He leads ecodharma workshops called “Silent Transformations,” teaches in the Ecosattva Training, is a GreenFaith fellow, and is active in ecological and social justice movements. Adam’s teachings focus on Great Perfection Tibetan Buddhism, modern phenomenology, and inoperative studies (Heidegger, Foucault, Agamben). A professor of Buddhist and phenomenological psychology, he is curious about transformative pedagogy and a cultural therapeutics for our collapsing society. He remains attuned-to a wise, just, terrestrial civilization. Adam teaches a critical style of contemplative training that seeks to avoid enclosure in neoliberal mindfulness while still disclosing effortless awareness. He is currently developing what he calls “four fields” of contemplative practices for potential worlds.
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